Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Merle Watson Bluegrass Banjo Championship will take place on Friday, April 24. Interested participants should make their way to Alumni Hall between 9:00 and 10:00 a.m. to register and receive a number. The contest begins at 10:30 a.m.

This year's prizes are: Grand Prize - Deering "Terry Baucom" Edition banjo, valued at $4600, and one set of John Pearse strings; Second Place Prize - Gibson RB-250 banjo, valued at $3300, and one set of John Pearse strings; Third Place Prize - Calton banjo case, valued at $785, and one set of John Pearse strings.

During the first round, each contestant will play two instrumental numbers. For the final round, each finalist will play two numbers--one instrumental of their choice, and a standard vocal number assigned by random drawing. During the standard vocal number, the festival will provide a singer/guitarist while the contestant accompanies and performs solos and back-up to the singer/guitarist. Medleys are not permitted. A single accompanist is permitted though not required, and accompanists are not permitted a solo performance. For additional rules, regulations and details, visit http://www.merlefest.org/MerleFestCMS/content.aspx?id=42&ekmensel=c57dfa7b_8_12_42_5.

Merlefest will be held on the Wilkes Community College Campus, Wilkesboro, NC, April 23-26, 2009. I will serve as MC and Terry will appear at various times throughout the festival at the Deering Banjo Booth. We look forward to seeing many of you there!~CB

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